Systemic inequalities in indoor air pollution exposure in London, UK

Lauren Ferguson, Jonathon Taylor, Ke Zhou, Clive Shrubsole, Phil Symonds, Mike Davies, Sani Dimitroulopoulou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Deprived communities in many cities are exposed to higher levels of outdoor air pollution, and there is increasing evidence of similar disparities for indoor air pollution exposure. There is a need to understand the drivers for this exposure disparity in order to develop effective interventions aimed at improving population health and reducing health inequities. With a focus on London, UK, this paper assembles evidence to examine why indoor exposure to PM2.5, NOx and CO may disproportionately impact low-income groups. In particular, five factors are explored, namely: housing location and ambient outdoor levels of pollution; housing characteristics, including ventilation properties and internal sources of pollution; occupant behaviours; time spent indoors; and underlying health
conditions. Evidence is drawn from various sources, including building physics models, modelled outdoor air pollution levels, time–activity surveys, housing stock surveys, geographical data, and peer-reviewed research. A systems framework is then proposed to integrate these factors, highlighting how exposure to high levels of indoor air pollution in low-income homes is in large part due to factors beyond the control of occupants, and is therefore an area of systemic inequality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425–448
Number of pages24
JournalBuildings and Cities
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

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